Presbyterian Churches are led by a Session, a group of elected ministers viewed by the community as having the abilities and character that qualifies them for lives of service and leadership.
Pastor Paul Viggiano
Paul Viggiano has been the pastor of the Branch of Hope OPC for twenty-two years. Prior to that, he was a youth pastor for St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. He has also served on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ.
Paul has a Master’s in Apologetics from Biola University, and has been an instructor at various high schools and colleges. He attended Talbot Seminary, King’s College Seminary, Bahnsen Theological Seminary, Westminster Seminary, and Fuller Seminary.
Paul has lived in the South Bay Area his entire life. He and his wife, Jennifer, have four children.
Mic has attended Branch of Hope since 1999, and has been active in ministry for over 25 years. He graduated from Cal State Dominguez Hills with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Business Administration. He is married and has five children.
Tracy was raised in a Christian family and by the grace of God came to faith at a young age. He has attended Branch of Hope since 1995, and has served as a deacon, home group leader, Sunday school teacher, and an elder since 2009. Tracy is married to Julie, his high school sweetheart, and has two wonderful children and two precious grandchildren. Tracy holds an undergraduate degree in theology from Los Angeles Baptist College, and attended graduate classes at Grace Bible Institute and Fuller Theological Seminary. He also has a master’s degree in Computer Science from Cal State Northridge. Tracy works as a software engineer at Raytheon.
Scott has been a member of Branch of Hope OPC since 1985. He has been serving as a ruling elder since 2008. Scott has a BA degree in Religious Studies from Cal State Long Beach and also attended Bethany Bible College. Scott has served the City of Torrance Fire Department 30 years. Scott currently lives in Seal Beach with Shellee, his lovely wife of 30 years. Scott and Shellee have two adult children and one daughter in law.
Mike has been in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church since 1996 and has been an elder at Branch of Hope since 2008. He appreciates his church family and hopes to continue serving the church for many years to come.
Pastor Dale Hanaoka
Dale is happily married to Karen, wife of his youth, and they have 3 children, 2 daughters-in-law, and one grandchild. They have attended Branch of Hope since 2008, and he has served on the elder board for 2 years, was previously the pastor of an OPC congregation, and has a Master of Divinity degree from Westminster Seminary California.
Christopher has been a member of Branch of Hope for more than 20 years. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Deni and their five children and is currently pursuing an M.Div at Fuller Theological Seminary. He has been on staff at many churches through the years serving as a ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America and the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. He worked for several years in the international legal department of World Vision International and now serves as the Director of Congregational Life at Branch of Hope. For 12 years he was the host of the Apologetics.com Radio Program on KKLA 99.5 FM in Los Angeles interacting with the public, theologians and philosophers on matters or faith and culture. Early on, he worked in television and music twice receiving Los Angeles Music Awards and twice nominated for Dove Awards by the Gospel Music Association. He received the Juris Doctor from Trinity Law and an M.A. in Communications and Culture from Trinity Graduate School, Trinity International University.
Loren Leland was born in Buffalo, New York in 1943, and graduated from high school in 1961. From high school he spent four and a half years in the Marine corp. His education includes: Sam Huston State University (BME) and Biblical International Christian College and Graduate School (Masters of Arts in Biblical Studies).
He lived in El Paso, Texas for ten years, where he met his wife, Tricia. They have been together for over 35 years. They became members of the Branch of Hope church in 1998. Loren has been on staff as the Church Administrator for 15 years, and has served as a deacon and currently as an elder.
Mike Yu and his family live in the South Bay and have attended Branch since 2010. In 2014, Mike became the third “Mike” to join the session (fourth, if you include Mic Hirtzel). He would not be opposed to someone giving him a nickname, provided it sounds cool.